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A three-ship convoy carrying 400 tons of food and supplies for Gaza departed from Cyprus amid concerns about hunger in the territory. The supplies included ready-to-eat items like rice, pasta, flour, legumes, and canned vegetables that were enough to prepare over 1 million meals, as well as dates for Ramadan. The United Nations and partners have warned of a potential famine in northern Gaza this month and have called for Israel to allow more aid by road in addition to sea and air deliveries.

The United States welcomed the formation of a new Palestinian autonomy government, viewing it as a step towards political reform. The Biden administration hopes to revitalize the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank with the goal of it administering Gaza once the conflict ends. However, both Israel and Hamas reject this idea, with Hamas deeming the new government illegitimate. The authority also lacks popular support among Palestinians due to its security cooperation with Israel in the West Bank.

The war between Hamas-led militants and Israel began after an attack in southern Israel resulted in the deaths of 1,200 people and the taking of hostages. Since then, over 400 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces or settlers in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. The conflict has resulted in significant destruction of infrastructure in Gaza, including hospitals, schools, homes, roads, sewage systems, and the electrical grid. Thousands of Palestinians have been displaced, and the majority of those killed have been women and children.

Reconstruction in Gaza following nearly six months of war will be a major challenge for any governing body due to the extensive damage to vital infrastructure. Local health authorities reported over 32,000 Palestinian deaths, with the majority of casualties being civilians, including women and children. The U.N. and international aid agencies have warned that over 80% of Gaza’s population has been displaced and hundreds of thousands are facing famine. Israel has continued to strike targets in Gaza even after a U.N. Security Council demand for a cease-fire, while international aid efforts have also been ongoing.

Israel intends to maintain security control over Gaza after the war and partner with Palestinians not affiliated with the Palestinian Authority or Hamas. However, it is unclear who in Gaza would be willing to take on such a role, as Hamas has warned against cooperating with Israel and calls for power-sharing among Palestinian factions instead. Hamas views those who collaborate with Israel as collaborators and issues death threats against them. National elections in Palestine have not taken place in 18 years, adding to the challenges of establishing a stable government in the region.

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